You cooked a steak wrong – the ultimate chef’s guide, from cuts to timing

It’s Valentine’s Day soon, which means romance, treating your partner, and sharing the love, but not everyone feels like heading out on the town to spend a fortune on dinner.

Many of us would rather stay home and whip up a luxurious dish in comfort – and with the money saved, you can spend on more expensive ingredients.

That’s why so many Brits opt for steak on February 14!

But, if you don’t know how to get the most out of this beefy dish or if you’ve tried it in the past and it got rubbery, you might be afraid to cook it.

So here at the Daily Star, we spoke to some top chefs to find out their latest tips and tricks for the perfect steak.

Ribeye is marbled with fat for lots of flavor

Choose your cut

Michael Carr, head chef at Fenchurch Restaurant, insists it all starts with your choice of meat.

He explained: “I always go to my local butchers in Greenwich to get my steak and the quality is excellent. I think it’s super important to go to the butchers because they are really experts in their trade.

“They source the meat and care so much about where it comes from, not only are the cows well cared for, they are also well fed and grazing in the best places in the UK which makes them taste better.”

He added: “The ribeye is the best in my opinion because the fat you get (especially if you get a good quality cut from a good breed of cattle) gives a good fat to meat ratio which gives a nice flavor. “

Choosing the right cut of meat is personal to your taste
Choosing the right cut of meat is personal to your taste

Meanwhile, Jordan Moore, head chef at Gousto, acknowledges that we all have different steak preferences.

He advised: “The four classic options are rump, sirloin, rib eye and tenderloin, but don’t be afraid to explore one of the lesser-known cuts such as the tab or flat iron. . The main factor to consider is how much fat you like.

“Fat equals flavor, but for some, a leaner cut is more appealing. A handy guide is that if you prefer chicken thighs over chicken breast, a ribeye is your best bet, but if you prefer the leaner chicken breast, try a sirloin or tenderloin.

“Once you’ve chosen your preferred cut, it’s crucial to take your meat out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking, so it’s at room temperature. Not only will this help form a good crust, but it will also leave you with a juicier, more tender steak.

Salt your steak

Now, a question many people have is whether you should salt the meat – won’t that make it difficult? Apparently not.

The chefs at Bar + Block said: “Once the steak is on the grill, season the steak well with salt, this is really important because when the steak cooks, the heat opens up the fibers which will allow the salt to melt. the steak to give you a nice seasoned steak and help any marbling from the fat melt through the steak to add tenderness to the flavor.

But salt isn’t the only way to add flavor.

Salting the meat ensures that it stays juicy
Salting the meat ensures that it stays juicy

Season the meat

Chef Sam Wanstall of Traeger Grills noted, “Top steak with slices of flavored butter until it’s melted all over the steak (mix softened butter with chopped basil and garlic and roll in a sausage and refrigerate until needed).

While Ioannis Grammenos, executive chef at Heliot Steakhouse – and the world’s first meatologist – said: “If you like a smoky flavor on your steak, mix 100g salt, 30g cracked black pepper and 10g smoked paprika and rub them on your steaks before you cook them.

And Ben Ebberell of SORTEDFood added: “Finish by adding butter and some aromatics to the pan…fresh mild herbs like thyme are ideal, as is a clove of crushed garlic. Baste the steak in this butter while the butter foams and takes on a golden color.

Do not move the steak in the pan
Do not move the steak in the pan

Leave him

And, it’s crucial not to play too much with the steak when it’s hot.

Bar + Block added: “When you put your steak on the grill or pan, it’s important not to keep moving your steak, keep it in the same position for 60% of the cooking time, then turn it over and place the steak exactly the same place and cook for the remainder on the cooking time.

“This will ensure that the temperature of the steak is cooked to the same temperature as the 1st part of the cooking process and will keep the muscles relaxed, which will contribute to the tenderness of the steak.

“The heat pushes the moisture/blood up and through the steak upwards, then when the steak is flipped the moisture/blood is pushed back through the steak. This essentially bastes the steak with its own moisture and flavors.

You can grill or pan-fry your steak
You can grill or pan-fry your steak

How long to cook your steak

But, how long should you cook your perfect steak?

Chef tutor at Grand, York, Andrew Dixon, explained that using a meat thermometer is the best option.

He noted, “The key to cooking the perfect steak is to use core temperature rather than time by weight.

“It doesn’t matter how you like your steak; they all have a different core temperature.

Here are the optimal temperatures for each cooking level:

  • Rare – 40°C
  • Medium rare – 45°C
  • Medium – 50°C
  • Well Done – 60°C+

Chimichurri sauce cuts through the richness
Chimichurri sauce cuts through the richness

Let the meat rest

Never forget to let your steak rest, as this will lock in the meat’s moisture and ensure that it is juicy and delicious.

Michael Carr commented: “Cook a ribeye for 2-3 minutes on each side in a very hot skillet. What’s so important is making sure you’re resting the meat for the same amount of time you cooked it – it’s a really important step that helps the meat taste its best.

Pair fatty steaks with bright, fresh ingredients
Pair fatty steaks with bright, fresh ingredients

Sauces and sides

And the sauce?

Jordan Moore said, “Sauces are there to elevate your steak and not overgrow it. You’ll want to pair your cut with the right sauce – if you’ve opted for a fatty rib eye, try a fresh and tangy chimichurri or salsa verde.

“If you’ve opted for a lean cut like a tenderloin, serve with something rich and indulgent like a creamy peppercorn sauce.”

And, the accompaniments are also important, noted Jordan: “Look for the balance on your plate to cut through some of those rich flavors. The tartness of slow-roasted vine tomatoes or simply lemon-dressed greens will help bring out the best in the rich, meaty flavors.